FACTORY WORKERS watch sewage flow into the Kishon River in 2007.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The notoriously polluted Kishon River is going online – at least, its water quality results are. Starting on Monday, the Kishon River Authority mad the results of the river’s monitoring station available to the public online.
The data, from a monitoring station placed at a part of the river in Haifa that is close to an oil refinery, is the same information used by the authority’s staff to monitor changes in water quality.
After decades of contamination from petrochemical plants, beginning in the 1930s, work has been conducted in recent years to clean up the Kishon. In August 2015, an effort began to pump 1.1 million cubic meters of standard drinking water into the Kishon annually to increase its flow and improve water quality. However, the river has been plagued by a number of sewage leaks in the past few months that put the water’s quality at risk.
The monitoring station, which was installed in 2001 and updated over the years, measures water quality 24 hours a day based on a number of parameters, which are abbreviated on the water quality website
. Visitors to the website can see the water’s pH levels (PH), temperature (Temp), electrical conductivity (EC), dissolved oxygen (DO), ammonia (NH3), nitrate (NO3) and phosphorous (TP) levels and monitor if there are any changes in its quality.
Yonatan Shavit, head of the Kishon River Authority’s environmental department, said the system will allow visitors to the river, such as members of kayak and boating clubs, to check on their own whether the water is safe for boating. He expressed the hope that with the ongoing clean-up efforts, it might be possible to swim there within the next five to 10 years.
Shavit said that although this monitoring station is currently the only one in the river, there are hopes that two more will be installed in the coming year.